If you have a will or living in trust in place, you may worry about probate’s effect on these documents and whether you should try to do all you can to avoid the process. You may even think of probate as a lengthy, difficult process that prevents your beneficiaries from receiving any assets in a timely manner.
In truth, probate can actually streamline certain processes, and according to the American Bar Association, most are no longer timely or expensive. Learning other probate facts vs myths may help you feel more comfortable about this process.
Myth: You should avoid probate
You may think of probate as something you should avoid completely, but in some cases, the process is more helpful than it is restrictive. Probate has many positive uses, including:
- Passing property from the benefactor to the beneficiary
- Legally naming trustees and executors of trusts and wills
- Applying state laws to probate proceedings to ensure their validity
While not all wills or trusts require probate, reviewing its usefulness may help you handle either with more confidence.
Myth: Probate results in costly fees
You may believe that the main reason to avoid probate is to cut down on legal fees and other expenses related to the process. However, depending on the size of the estate, your residency and the complexity of a will or trust, the cost of filing can vary, especially if the value of the estate does not exceed $100,000.
Probate can also assist you with certain issues that may arise, such as if someone in your family wants to contest a portion of a will.